WA News and Projects


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Remembering Them - A Century of Service

Remembering Them - A Century of Service is a collaborative project between Museums Galleries Australia WA, the Royal Western Australian Historical Society and Western Australian Museum.  With Lotterywest funding support, the project involved 32 local partners in small communities across Western Australia from 2014 through 2019.

Communities are provided an environmental standard showcase, design support for research, display and interpretation to tell their community stories relating to World War 1.  Outcomes include not only an exhibition specific to their community but also skills development, sense of identity and community promotion.


Collections Sector Review

MGAWA has been a lead contributor to the Collections Sector Review since February 2016. The Review aims to develop the sustainability of the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector (GLAM), as a network of entities charged with the care of and public programs associated with collections across Western Australia. The Review is chaired by Alex Coles, CEO WA Museum at the request of Duncan Ord.

MGAWA has provided its expertise in the discussion and prioritisation of initiatives across a short to long term range and to the development of four discussion papers and ongoing promotion of concepts. Based on feedback from across the GLAM sector, the following priority areas have been identified:

  • Audience development

  • Professional development/skills development

  • Digital collections platform

  • Mentoring


Participation is funded through internal resources pending identification of funding sources for individual program initiatives.


Cultural Sector Training Partnership with Art on the Move

Building Our Stories

This Pilot Project is an initiative of the Collections Sector Working Group (CSWG). It is designed to address, in part, identified sector training needs, to evaluate the business case for cross sector training and to act as a start point for follow on sustainable professional development initiatives.

The project title Building Our Stories has been selected as a logical extension of the existing publication and program Sharing Our Stories released as a partnering venture in 2012 by Lotterywest, Museums Australia WA and the National Trust of Western Australia. The project will deliver an integrated training program responsive to the sectors needs targeting educators, lifelong learners, galleries and exhibition venues and their staff and/or volunteers across Western Australia.

Funding for a pilot program is currently being sought through DCA Strategic Initiatives funding.


Regional Arts Partnership Program

Since 2014, Museums Galleries Australia Western Australia has worked with the cultural sector within the Country Arts WA Regional Arts Partnership Program. Seventeen cultural organisations indicated a interest in Museums Galleries Australia skills development services and four collection oriented “clusters” were identified.

Museums Galleries Australia is working with one funded cluster to assist in the delivery of skills in the collections development and public programs area. Follow up delivery options are being developed with five other local partners under regional training initiatives.

Until 2016 this program was funded under a multi-year collection sector funding agreement with DCA. Current transitional funding ends in December 2017.


Digitisation and Collections Access

Western Australia is home to several hundred gallery, library, archive and museum (GLAM) collections, which are exceptional educational, design, research and community development resources. Together, the distributed state collection is of vital significance, telling stories of local, state and national significance.  There is currently no means of exploring Western Australian collections as a searchable whole.  This makes it very difficult to track down all the relevant material related to any particular topic. 

Museums Galleries Australia WA has been working within the Collection Sector Working Group to advance a solution. Tentatively the sector has identified the Victorian Collections approach as the most useful approach. To this end, we have assisted one of our members, the Army Museum of Western Australia to place sample portions of its collection on line at the Victorian Collections website http://www.victoriancollections.net.au

Ongoing support for this initiative is provided through core transitional funding. An application through the CSWG process for further development funding is expected shortly.


Conferences and Master Classes

Museums Galleries Australia WA supports professional development and employment opportunities in both the waged and volunteer segments of the sector through the delivery of a biennial conference and a parallel program of master classes.


The MGAWA State Conference held in October 2016 at the State Library featured over 70 speakers and 250 delegates. Lotterywest Bursaries facilitated the attendance of 50 regional, remote and outer metropolitan delegates. Internationally acclaimed speakers included Dustin Growick of Museum Hack (US) and Elizabeth Merritt of Centre for Museum Studies (USA via Skype) and Tony Butler, Friendly Museum Project (UK via Skype)


Museums Galleries Australia subsequently sponsored Tony Butler to speak and deliver workshops in conjunction with the State Heritage and History Conference in May 2017. Over 350 participated in this conference including 70 bursary participants through the Museums Galleries Australia bursaries program supported by Lotterywest.


Workshops, Seminars and Regional Training

With over 150 individual members and 140 corporate members, Museums Galleries Australia reaches the collection sector across Western Australia. Through our regional chapters, MGAWA facilitates workshops and training either in response to specific needs or at regional chapter meetings. With the demise of local skills development options with the ending of the Edith Cowan University Certificate Program, access to these training sessions is often the only option for the cultural sector in smaller communities.


MGAWA has developed a series of on-line resources to act as reference material for training and then is able to follow up with face to face training. All training is based on National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries.


Regional networks and training are currently funded through transitional funding from DCA and by fee for service to cover materials and catering as necessary.


Touring Exhibitions and Award Winning Programs


Museums Galleries Australia  WA has a proven record of success in the delivery of a wide range of professional programs, touring exhibitions and cultural tourism outcomes either through project funding or strategic partnerships. Examples include the Wetlands Touring Exhibition, initiated by MGAWA in the International year of Biodiversity in 2010/11. The community reception of this exhibition was so positive that it was revitalised and extended and continued touring until 2015.


 In 2011, MGAWA initiated Museums Week centered around International Museums Day of 18 May. This initiative has been so successful that it has evolved into the Western Australian Heritage Festival under the coordination of the National Trust. In 2016, over 50 MGAWA affiliates presented a cultural heritage activity or event under the festival.


These programs were partnered with initial funding from DCA and Lotterywest and ongoing MGAWA support is provided through transitional funding.


Networking, Communication and Sense of Community


Museums Galleries Australia WA remains committed to the empowerment of local communities to identify and communicate their own stories and sense of place. To assist the sustainability of this process, our regional chapters, electronic newsletters and sector interface enables the sharing of ideas and the coordination and promotion of events.


Through its program of Regional Museum brochures, MGAWA has mapped and promoted regional museums and galleries. Funding for hard copy brochures has now transitioned to online versions and a tourism and attraction oriented website at http://www.museumsgalleriesaustraliawa.org.au


This free service to the sector is provided through MGAWA and is cross promoted through the highly regarded Scoop electronic directories under an Arts and Culture banner. Through its tourism focus, attractive graphic, maps and orientation to a non-traditional audience, the site is already providing interest and traffic to our local museums.